Here's some good news for people working in high security areas that forbid smartphones with cameras - M1 is offering a non-camera version of Apple's iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
A quick calculation shows that the non-camera iPhones will cost S$49 more than its standard counterparts. Furthermore, the terms and conditions have been updated, and here's a few things you need to take note of:
M1 will follow up each Customer's Order with a call for confirmation of the Order. Upon such confirmation, Customer’s purchase of the [camera removed iPhone] is Non-Cancellable and Strictly No Refunds will be allowed. All applicable Manufacturers’ warranty shall be void upon purchase of the [camera removed iPhone]. M1 will not be able to assist Customers on any warranty-related issues.All [camera removed iPhones] purchased Cannot be used for Trade-In purposes.
So what does this mean for you? Firstly, it means the non-camera iPhone will not be covered by Apple's warranty. However, M1 will be offering a 1-year warranty with a third party vendor. According to a spokesperson from M1, the warranty will cost S$321, and it will only be offered at point of purchase. That means, if you choose not to take the warranty when you purchase the non-camera iPhone and decide to do so later, it will not be possible.
Furthermore, non-camera iPhones are not valid for trade-in purposes. As such, you'll have to find alternative ways to offload your non-camera iPhone once you're done with it. Given that there's a strong second-hand market for smartphones in Singapore, you can probably find a lot of willing buyers in our marketplace.
Meanwhile, we've approached both SingTel and StarHub on their plans to offer a similar package. Both telcos were only able to comment that they are currently in discussion with the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).